In This Issue
Platoon Bounce Back, Azzurra's Consistency Is Not Contagious
Bacardi Cup At Halfway Stage
Queensland 18-Footer Comeback
Two-time Olympic champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe retires
Has your website taken all its vitamins?
Top teams return for 2020 GC32 Racing Tour
RHKYC Team Agiplast Announces Youth America's Cup Challenge
Petition for World Sailing to cancel Hempel Sailing World Cup Genoa
For the Record: Hong Kong to London
Escape Hatch Recall: Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Catana-Bali, Nautitech
Featured Brokerage:
• • Swan 105 RS Child of Lir
• • Baltic Yachts 65 Custom
• • SW78 Ocean Horse
The Last Word: William S. Burroughs

Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and EuroSail News is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to

Platoon Bounce Back, Azzurra's Consistency Is Not Contagious
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

tp52 Cape Town, South Africa: After a very disappointing opening to the Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES V&A Waterfront - Cape Town regatta, Harm Muller-Spreer's world champions Platoon bounced back to record a second and first today as the top scoring boat in the fleet. But, after six races have been sailed off Cape Town, it is still the 2019 overall title holders Azzurra who lead, today extending their cushion to ten points.

Azzurra's consistency, posting a 3.5 point average for the day, is the result of patience, minimising risk and obviously good boat speed, while Platoon's three-points aggregate for this third day of five planned racing days, moves them to within three points of second-placed Phoenix 11.

Doug DeVos's Quantum Racing triumphed in the first race of the day extending away from second-placed Platoon in a modest, oscillating 10 knot north-westerly that died on the second round. But the four-time 52 SUPER SERIES champions matched their win with a sixth from the nine starters.

While Azzurra lead by ten points overall the chasing pack is tightly grouped, just four points separating Hasso Plattner's second-placed Phoenix 11 from Andy Soriano's sixth-placed Alegre.

A collision with Alegre during the first race on Tuesday means Sled are unable to continue racing due to damage to their standing rigging. Their score is redressed to average points per race sailed after Race 3

Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Odzala Discovery Camps 52 SUPER SERIES V&A Waterfront - Cape Town
Regatta standings after Day 3
1. Azzurra (ARG/ITA) (Alberto/Pablo Roemmers) (4,2,2,2,5,2) 17 points
2. Phoenix 11 (RSA) (Hasso Plattner) (1,3,1,7,8,7) 27 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA) (Doug DeVos) (5,8,4,5,1,6) 29 points
4. Sled (USA) (Takashi Okura) (3,4,RDG6,RDG5.5, RDG5.5, RDG5.5) 29.5 points
5. Platoon (GER) (Harm Müller-Spreer) (9,7,8,3,2,1) 30 points
6. Alegre (USA/GBR) (Andrés Soriano) (7,1,DNF11+2,4,3,3) 31 points
7. Bronenosec (RUS) (Vladimir Liubomirov) (2,10,7,1,6,8) 34 points
8. Provezza (TUR) (Ergin Imre) (6,6,3,8,9,4) 36 points
9. Phoenix 12 (RSA) (Tina Plattner) (8,5,5,9,7,5) 39 points
10. Paprec (FRA) (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin) (10,9,6,6,4,9) 44 points

Full results

Bacardi Cup At Halfway Stage
The change in wind pressure gave no change in performance from the series leaders Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA) who racked up another win today to lead the sixty-five boat Star Class fleet at the halfway stage of the 93rd Bacardi Cup in Miami, USA.

The weather conditions served up an altogether different race track on day 3, with the light and unsettled breeze postponing the start until 1330 hours. An initial wait ashore in the environs of the beautiful Coral Reef Yacht Club was followed by an on-water postponement, before the light and very warm southerly breeze filled in.

The reigning Star Class World Champions, Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA), repeated and improved on yesterday's race track domination, this time breaking away to lead the fleet from the first mark to the finish by a solid margin. The partnership dismissed the assault put up by Americans George Szabo and Guy Avellon, who delivered their best race of the series so far but had to be satisfied with a 2nd place finish and a leader board climb of five places to fifth overall.

From Thursday 5 March to Saturday 7 March the Star Class will be joined by the full line-up of classes at the Bacardi Invitational Regatta with the J70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VXOne sports boat and the foiling AV8 and Windfoil sailors joining the event.

Provisional Top 10 - After 3 Races
1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada, POL, 4 points
2. Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin, NOR, 10
3. Augie Diaz/Henry Boening, USA, 14
4. Diego Negri/Frithjof Kleen, ITA, 17
5. George Szabo/Guy Avellon, USA, 20
6. Peter O'Leary/Robert O'Leary, IRL, 26
7. Paul Cayard/Pedro Trouch, USA, 29
8. Jorgen Schonherr/Markus Koy, DEN, 31
9. Brian Ledbetter/Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 32
10. Manu Hens/Joost Houweling, BEL, 38

Queensland 18-Footer Comeback
Aberdare. Click on image for photo gallery.

Queensland 18-Footer Will the three-boat Queensland team of young sailors coming to the 2020 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour next month (14-22 March), lead to a stronger challenge by the northern Australian State's once mighty record of development and controversial design during the early history of the class?

The young team is relatively inexperienced in 18ft Skiff racing and will obviously have a hard time beating the best teams in the world but their effort and enthusiasm in the lead up to the championship must be admired.

The Brisbane 18s rebirth story really began two years ago when Steven Tapsall, Paul O'Malley Jones, Richard Billett and Ben Guymer were keen to nurture high performance skiff classes in Brisbane and saw significant young talent leaving sailing after their development period in the érs and other feeder classes. They wanted to get the 18s on the water so their kids and others could aspire to sail something, big, fast and exciting.

The youth and talent of the team gives us hope of a Queensland revival in the 18s as the State has been such an important ingredient in the 18 Footers history.

Racing began in Brisbane in the mid-1890s before regular interstate contests were held between teams from Queensland, NSW and Western Australia, and the Australian Championship formally established in the 1912-1913 season.

Colin Clark was the most prolific Queensland winner of the official Australian Championship with three victories between 1917-1918 and 1922-1923. In 1921 the Brisbane 18-Footers Club was also officially formed.

By the early 1930s the fleets in NSW and Queensland began to suffer as owners didn't want to pay the rising costs necessary to replace the big old boats with new ones, and also found it difficult to maintain the number of crew necessary to sail the big boats.

The boats from the "Big Boat Era" became obsolete when Queensland designers began to apply the principles of aerodynamics to boat building which resulted in a radical new type of 18-Footer.

The new boat, Aberdare was a no heel skiff with a 7ft beam and depth of 2ft. She had a lighter hull and smaller rig and carried a crew of 7-8 men, compared to the 12-13 needed in the big boats.

Off the wind, Aberdare produced great speed with mainsail, reaching jib, ringtail and peak head spinnaker and was so fast that she was soon christened "the Galloping Ghost" or "the Queensland Miracle".

Vic Vaughan, having won four consecutive Australian Championships in Aberdare, between 1933-1934 and 1936-1937, was a dominating figure in 18-Footer racing, but no more than Lance Watts, who also won four national titles between 1931 and 1950.

The success of the new concept was the beginning of the end for the 'big boats' but when the Sydney club refused to register the new narrow beam boats for their local sailors, a group of those wanting the new boats formed their own club, which was originally known as the NSW 18 Footers Sailing League (now known as the Australian 18 Footers League).

Queensland started to rebuild its fleet after WW2, and in 1945 decided to race 6ft beam boats. This time the League opposed the move, but it was approved by the SFS. The first of these 6ft beamers, which were designed by Norman Wright and Lance Watts, began to sail in Brisbane in 1946.

These boats were cheaper to build, lighter than the previous 7ft beam boats, needed only a crew of 5-6 compared to 7 or 8, and they were fast.

Eventually, all three of the major Australian 18-Footer clubs got back together but most of the new ideas and top championship contenders were coming from the designs and sheds of people such as Lance and Harold Watts and Norman Wright. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.

Two-time Olympic champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe retires
Click on image to enlarge.

Dorian van Rijsselberghe Last Saturday at the 2020 RS:X World Championships, Dorian van Rijsselberghe sailed his last race in the Olympic RS:X windsurfing class. Van Rijsselberghe went home with a win in the final medal race. Training partner Kiran Badloe, went into the medal race with a ten point lead, and finished fifth which was enough to land him the world title for the second year in a row. By winning, Badloe also secured himself the Dutch Olympic ticket for Tokyo 2020. In an interview with Dutch Television soon after, Van Rijsselberghe, the two-time Olympic champion, said that he looks forward to a new future.

Van Rijsselberghe: "I have always sailed with my heart, but that has been a difficult task lately. Deep inside, the drive was not big enough to do what I needed to do at these Worlds. This past week, each time I didn't achieve the necessary result, I felt a sort of relief. Which is very strange and in terms of political correctness, is actually against what you are supposed to want as a sportsman. Ordinarily, you always have to want to win. You should do everything to defend your title and I, I just want to go home to me wife and kids."

The lack of family-time in California had a big impact on the father of two young daughters. Ahead of the World Championships, Van Rijsselberghe frequently said to various media outlets: "A third gold medal would be nice, but does it make me a better person, a better man or a better father? No."

Looking into the future, the 2012 and 2016 RS:X Olympic Champion himself, said he will still be around. Van Rijsselberghe: "I'm going to see how I can contribute to Kir (Kiran Badloe [sic]) and his journey so he will be full prepared for the Games. Next to that I now also have more time for my own WAVES Festival on Texel, at Paal17. Where we hope to host races for the new Olympic discipline for Paris 2024, the windfoil. The sailing world will see me back too - in 2022 I will be the director of the Sailing World Championships (for all Olympic classes) in The Hague, the Netherlands, my home country."

Van Rijsselberghe

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Top teams return for 2020 GC32 Racing Tour
The big players are set to return to the battlefield in one month's time when high speed foiling catamaran competition gets underway at the GC32 Oman Cup, first of five events comprising the 2020 GC32 Racing Tour.

Throughout the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour two teams were at each other's throats. The Adam Minoprio-skippered Oman Air won the first and third events of the season while Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi team claimed the second and fourth, including the coveted GC32 World Championship title in Lagos, Portugal. This left these teams neck and neck going into the final event in Oman in early November. Here ultimately the Swiss prevailed, adding the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour title to their impressive collection of silverware for the year.

These two teams will get a chance for a rematch this season. The immaculate Alinghi returns with the same line-up as it did in 2019 with Arnaud Psarofaghis sharing helming duties with Bertarelli. "Why would you change a winning team?" explains Alinghi Team Director Pierre-Yves Jorand. "We are working very nicely together and performing well and delivering a great performance." Also on board will be Nicolas Charbonnier, Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey and Timothé Lapauw.

Alinghi's objectives for the season are of course to defend their overall GC32 Racing Tour and World Championship titles, but Jorand points out that this year the game is slightly different due to the World Championship taking place later in the season (in Villasimius, Sardinia over 16-20 September).

The local team will be backed by GC32 Oman Cup event hosts Oman Sail and EFG Private Bank Monaco. Talented New Zealand round the world sailor and former Match Racing World Champion Adam Minoprio will once again helm the Omani GC32 team and will be supported by Peter Greenhalgh on main sheet.

Austrian catamaran sailing stars and double Olympic Tornado gold medallists, Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, return to the GC32 Racing Tour looking to build on their third placed finish in 2019 with Red Bull Sailing Team. To help them achieve this they, like Alinghi, are sticking with the same crew as they sailed with in 2019: the international line-up of Swede Julius Hallstrom and Australians Mark Spearman and Rhys Mara.

RHKYC Team Agiplast Announces Youth America's Cup Challenge
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club today announces that it has mounted a challenge for the Youth America's Cup that will be raced in a brand new class of foiling mono-hull, the AC9F, in 2020 and 2021.

Whilst Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has a rich and colourful history dating back 170 years, the Club's focus is very much on its future; be it nurturing its youth and the sailors of tomorrow or doing its part for the environment with its sustainability initiatives. This forward thinking is what has attracted Agiplast to join hands with RHKYC in this Youth America's Cup endeavour. Agiplast regenerates plastics for a more sustainable world and have been doing so for over 25 years.

RHKYC Team Agiplast will be comprised of a mixed crew of four sailors aged between 18 and 24 including two female and two male sailors with a maximum crew weight of 311kgs.

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club will soon announce the selection criteria for RHKYC Team Agiplast with the closing date to receive any expressions of interest from potential members being 26 March. Team members will be agreed by 2 April and announced shortly thereafter.

Agiplast is a plastic compound manufacturer and a world leader group in polymer compounding and regeneration since 1994.

Petition for World Sailing to cancel Hempel Sailing World Cup Genoa 2020 due to the risks of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
It is irresponsible and possibly dangerous to host the Hempel Sailing World Cup in Genoa due to the risks of COVID-19. Having hundreds of sailors, coaches and staff from all over the world stay in Northern Italy and return to their home countries would undue global efforts to contain the virus. It is the responsibility of World Sailing to provide safe events for their competitors.

Many sailing federations are required compete in Genoa to qualify for the Olympics, which forces them to decide between their safety and a chance to compete at the Olympic Games. World Sailing should make the responsible decision to cancel the event and chose a safer location for final Olympic qualifications.

The Hempel Sailing World Cup Genoa is scheduled to start on April 11:


For the Record: Hong Kong to London
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:

Record: Hong Kong to London
Yacht: IDEC Sport. 103 ft Trimaran. 4 crew
Name: Francis Joyon. FRA
Dates:.18th January to 19th February 2020
Start time: 08; 00; 47 on 18/01/20
Finish time: 07; 37; 33 on 19/02/20
Elapsed time: 31 days 23 hours 36 minutes and 46 seconds
Distance: 12948 nm
Average speed: 16.87 kts

Comments:. Previous Record: "Maserati". Giovanni Soldini. ITA. Feb 18. 36d 2h 37m 12s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Escape Hatch Recall: Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Catana-Bali, Nautitech
Goiot Systems has notified the boatbuilders of a recall campaign concerning the escape hatches delivered before September 2018 and the Goiot safety kits, due to a risk of the hatches detaching from their frames, which could affect safety during navigation. On top of each boat builder's internal communications already done (for the periods and models concerning them), Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Catana-Bali and Nautitech brands are asking all the owners and users of their boats to contact each of them, without delay (by referring to their internet sites or contacting their dealer). Owners will be able to find out immediately if their vessel is fitted with the escape hatches in question and subject of the recall. They will also be able to read each manufacturer's recommendations on how to proceed. (PDF)

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